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Record rainfall ‘reinforces tyre check importance’, insist TyreSafe

By Kyle Lindsay
Monday, March 3, 2014 - 14:30

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INSPECTION: You can check tread depth with a 20p

Motorists must ensure their tyres have sufficient tread depth to keep them safe on wet roads, TyreSafe have insisted.

The Met Office have confirmed the country has just experienced its wettest winter on record, and the road safety organisation are urging motorists to check their tyres are legal.

Current law requires car drivers to have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread across the central three-quarters of the tyre around its entire circumference.

Those failing to comply risk a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points per tyre – meaning fleets are at huge risk in particular.

Stuart Jackson, Chairman of TyreSafe, said: “It’s no great surprise that this has been the wettest winter on record, but sadly many drivers are unaware that their tyres must be properly maintained and regularly inspected to ensure they remain safe and legal on the road.

“Insufficient tread depth could not only see you falling foul of the law, but it will also hamper your car’s ability to brake, accelerate and corner safely.”

Adequate tread depth is particularly important in the winter months, as the tread grooves help remove water from the road surface, allowing tyres to grip the road properly.

“Sadly, many drivers are unaware that their tyres must be properly maintained and regularly inspected”

Stuart Jackson, TyreSafe

Insufficient tread depth can lead to a loss of grip and longer stopping distances, with potentially devastating consequences.

TyreSafe recommend drivers check their tread depth by placing a 20p coin into the main tread grooves their tyres.

If the outer band of the 20p coin is visible when inserted, it is likely that the tyre is close to, or below the legal limit.

“The 20p test is incredibly simple to understand and quick to perform,” added Mr Jackson.

“And with so many wet roads this year, the coin really could be a lifesaver in your pocket!”

Image courtesy of Highways Agency, with thanks

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